Feminist Durations: Reflections on Italian Feminisms, Human Strike, and the Now You Can Go programme
Reckitt, Helena. 2016. 'Feminist Durations: Reflections on Italian Feminisms, Human Strike, and the Now You Can Go programme'. In: Critical Soiree, part of Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis. Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, London, United Kingdom 21 May 2016. [Conference or Workshop Item]
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Abstract or Description
In tandem with Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis exhibition and web project Helena Reckitt discussed the ‘Now You Can Go’ programme that she initiated and organised with six feminist colleagues in 2015.
A two-week long events programme inspired by Italian feminisms of the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, ‘Now You Can Go’ foregrounded how practices of transmission, translation and annotation can operate as means of intergenerational feminist encounter. In this talk Reckitt highlighted the non-assimilationist politics of Italian feminisms associated with the Milan Women’s Bookstore collective and with Rivolta Femminile and its cofounder Carla Lonzi, whose book Vai Pure (‘Now You Can Go’ in English translation) lent the programme its title. These strains of Italian feminism rejected the reformist assumptions inherent to campaigns for equal rights, and called for women to resist stereotypical gendered roles along with mainstream institutional power.
Little-known within Anglo-American feminist circles, Italian feminism has much to offer contemporary feminisms, Reckitt argues. Of particular significance is the Italian feminist critique of how work and productivity seep into all aspects of our lives, and of art cultures that celebrate high-status artistic production while disavowing the supportive, background, feminized labour that sustains them.